Udoma: Nigeria Q1 govt revenues reach only 55 pct of target – Reuters

By Camillus Eboh

ABUJA, July 15 (Reuters) – First quarter revenues in Nigeria reached only 55 percent of what the government had targeted, the budget minister said on Thursday, blaming attacks on oil facilities in the southern Niger Delta region.

“Up to April we have not been able to meet our revenue target. We have only realized 55 percent. The bulk of this constraint is the problem in the Niger Delta,” Udoma Udo Udoma told a parliamentary committee.

Africa’s biggest economy, where oil sales make up around 70 percent of government revenue, is going through its worst crisis in decades due to the drop in global oil prices.

Those problems have been exacerbated by attacks by militants in the Niger Delta which began in January and briefly pushed crude production in the OPEC member to 30-year lows in spring.

In May, President Muhammadu Buhari signed the 6.06 trillion naira ($30.6 billion) 2016 budget into law, which assumes oil production of 2.2 million barrels per day (bpd) at $38 a barrel.

Udoma did not provide a precise figure for first quarter revenue.

“Our budgetary production target of 2.2 million bpd could not be met. At some point in time it was down to one million. We have, however, been told by the petroleum ministry that it’s going up again, not withstanding the problems,” he said.

Earlier this month, Oil Minister Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu said production was around 1.9 million bpd. (Writing by Alexis Akwagyiram; Editing by Robin Pomeroy)